2023 trends in the Indian tourism sector
Updated: Jul 28
The tourism sector in India is a significant contributor to the country's economy, generating revenue and creating job opportunities. India is rich in cultural, historical, and natural attractions. The country has been promoting itself as a tourist destination, both domestically and internationally, and has seen a steady increase in the number of tourists in recent years. However, the sector has also faced challenges, such as infrastructure development and improving the quality of tourist services. The Indian government has implemented various initiatives to boost the growth of the tourism industry and make India a preferred tourist destination. Consequentially, hotel property management companies in India have also benefitted from the same.
Here are some initiatives implemented by the Indian government to boost the tourism industry. These in turn enable the hotel property management companies to add to the country's economy.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme: A national mission to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
PRASAD Scheme: A central scheme to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in India.
e-Visa: An electronic visa facility for tourists visiting India, which has made it easier and more convenient for travelers to obtain a visa.
Incredible India Campaign: A global marketing campaign aimed at promoting India as a tourist destination.
Atithi Devo Bhava: A nationwide campaign to enhance the quality of tourist services and promote the concept of "guests are gods."
Development of Tourist Infrastructure: The government has been improving tourist infrastructure, such as developing airports, rail connectivity, and building hotels and resorts.
Skill Development for Tourism Sector: The government is promoting skill development programs for the tourism sector, to improve the quality of tourist services and create job opportunities.
The Different Kinds of Tourism:
Pilgrimage tourism also known as faith tourism, is a type of industry, where people travel individually or in groups to pilgrim destinations, or for leisure (fellowship) purposes. Faith-based tourism exists throughout the world, from India to Mexico, from Israel to Saudi Arabia. In India, from ancient times pilgrimages have not only been calls to spirituality but also major economic drivers that have an impact not only on the soul of people but also in the pockets of the industry.
Pilgrimage tourism in India saw the following trends in 2022:
A rise in domestic pilgrimage travel as people looked to reconnect with their spirituality and culture.
An increase in the development of pilgrimage tourism products and services, such as new pilgrimage circuits and improved infrastructure at religious sites.
A focus on enhancing the pilgrimage experience for travelers, such as providing better amenities and facilities at religious sites.
What To Expect In 2023:
Continued growth in domestic pilgrimage travel, driven by a desire to visit sacred sites and connect with one's spiritual beliefs.
A potential increase in international pilgrimage travel as global travel restrictions ease and the demand for travel recovers.
A need for religious sites to maintain high standards of health and safety to ensure a comfortable and safe experience for travelers.
India is home to many important pilgrimage sites, including the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Tirupati, and Amritsar.
India has a significant geographical advantage owing to its rich natural & eco-tourism resources:
• 70% of the Himalayas
• 7,000 km of coastline
• Among one of the three countries in the world with both hot and cold desert
• Ranks 10th in total area under forest cover
• Ranks 6th in terms of the number of recognized UNESCO Natural Heritage sites
Eco-tourism in India saw the following trends in 2022:
A continued growth in eco-tourism in India, driven by a growing awareness of environmental issues and a desire to experience nature.
An increase in sustainable tourism practices, such as responsible waste management and minimizing carbon emissions.
The popularity of outdoor activities, such as trekking, wildlife safaris, and bird watching, has increased as people seek to connect with nature.
What To Expect In 2023:
Continued growth in eco-tourism as travelers seek to experience nature and learn about sustainable tourism practices.
A potential increase in investment in eco-tourism infrastructure, such as eco-friendly accommodations and interpretive trails.
An emphasis on environmental protection and sustainable tourism practices to ensure that eco-tourism has a positive impact on local communities and ecosystems.
India is home to many important eco-tourism destinations, including the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the Sundarbans, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Recognizing the immense Potential of Rural Tourism in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for the Development of Rural Tourism in India - An initiative towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Rural Tourism saw the following Trends in 2022:
Increased demand for rural destinations in India as travelers sought to escape crowded cities during the pandemic.
A growth in agritourism and farm stays, as travelers looked to connect with nature and local cultures.
A rise in the popularity of homestays in rural areas, where travelers could experience the local way of life.
What To Expect In 2023:
Continued interest in rural tourism in India, as travelers seek to experience authentic cultural experiences and escape the city.
A potential increase in rural tourism development, such as the creation of rural tourism circuits and the improvement of infrastructure.
A need for rural destinations in India to implement health and safety measures, such as contactless check-ins and increased sanitation, to meet traveler expectations.
Many hotel property management companies are venturing into rural spaces to cater to this demand generated by Rural Tourism
Examples of popular rural tourism destinations in India include the villages of the Himalayas, rural Rajasthan, the backwaters of Kerala, and the rural areas of the Western Ghats.
When the Covid-19 outbreak was at its worst and travel was prohibited for most people, many would find comfort in following the Instagram profiles of famous people, including actors, politicians, and businesspeople. Almost everyone who was anyone left on a private jet to travel abroad, with the majority of them making their way to Dubai or the Maldives, which had become popular destinations for celebrities who posted their beautiful photos from there and unintentionally served as brand ambassadors for the places. As they waited for the pandemic to pass and lockdowns or restrictions on business and travel to be lifted, hundreds of other Indians followed them and frequently went there as well to the opulent resorts and exclusive beaches throughout the world.
Luxury tourism in India saw the following trends in 2022
A rise in luxury tourism in India is driven by a growing number of high-net-worth individuals and a desire for unique and exclusive travel experiences.
An increase in bespoke travel experiences, such as private tours and customized itineraries, to meet the demands of luxury travelers.
A growth in the number of high-end hotels, resorts, and spas, offering a range of luxurious amenities and services.
What To Expect In 2023:
Continued growth in luxury tourism in India, driven by an increasing number of affluent travelers and a desire for unique and exclusive experiences.
A potential increase in investment in luxury tourism infrastructure, such as new high-end hotels, resorts, and spas.
An emphasis on sustainability and responsible tourism practices to meet the expectations of discerning luxury travelers.
India is home to many important luxury tourism destinations, including Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, and Goa, which offer a range of high-end hotels, resorts, and spas. From soaking up the views at luxury properties, visiting the Beatles Ashram or taking a dip in the holy river, Rishikesh has emerged as a popular leisure destination for celebs too.
Adventure tourism is a type of niche tourism where exploration or travel involves some degree of risk (real or perceived) and may require special skills, and physical effort. Adventure tourism can be any tourism activity that includes physical activity, cultural exchange, and connection with nature. Adventure tourism experiences are generally divided into two types hard adventure and soft adventure.
Adventure tourism in India saw the following trends in 2022
A rise in adventure tourism in India is driven by a growing interest in outdoor activities and a desire for unique and thrilling travel experiences.
An increase in the popularity of activities such as trekking, rock climbing, and rafting, as well as wildlife safaris and bird watching.
Growth in the development of adventure tourism infrastructure, such as campsites, adventure parks, and guide services.
What To Expect In 2023:
Continued growth in adventure tourism as travelers seek new and exciting travel experiences.
A potential increase in investment in adventure tourism infrastructure, such as the development of new trails, parks, and adventure sports facilities.
A focus on sustainable and responsible adventure tourism practices ensures that this form of tourism has a positive impact on local communities and the environment.
As a result, hotel property management companies are shifting their focus from general operations to sustainability practices integrated in day-to-day operations.
India is home to many important adventure tourism destinations, including the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which offer a range of outdoor activities and experiences.
People may travel to another country to get health care for many reasons, including:
Cost: To get treatment or a procedure that may be cheaper in another country.
Culture: To receive care from a healthcare provider who shares the traveler’s culture and language.
Unavailable or Unapproved procedure: To get a procedure or therapy that is not available or approved in the United States.
The most common procedures that people undergo on medical tourism trips include dental care, surgery, cosmetic surgery, fertility treatments, organ and tissue transplantation, and cancer treatment
Medical tourism in India saw the following trends in 2022
A continued growth in medical tourism in India, driven by high-quality medical care at affordable prices and a desire for medical treatments not available in their home countries.
An increase in the availability of specialized medical treatments, such as cancer care and cardiac surgery.
Growth in the number of international medical centers and hospitals offering high-quality medical treatments and services.
What To Expect In 2023:
Continued growth in medical tourism in India as more people seek affordable, high-quality medical care.
A potential increase in investment in medical tourism infrastructure, such as new medical centers and hospitals, to meet the growing demand for medical treatments.
An emphasis on quality and patient safety to ensure that medical tourists receive the highest quality care.
India is home to many important medical tourism destinations, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore, which offer a range of specialized medical treatments and services.
The Ministry of Tourism plans to build top-notch visitor amenities at major monuments and heritage sites around the nation, working closely with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). In addition to promoting inclusive tourism. Due acknowledgement and the preservation of the nation's rich and diverse past will both be aided by experience. A taste of India's incredible wealth, complexity, and diversity may be seen in the 3,686 ancient monuments and archaeological sites that the ASI currently maintains, including 36 world heritage sites. These landmarks play a crucial role in boosting tourism by drawing both domestic and foreign visitors to the nation.
Heritage tourism in India saw the following trends in 2022
A rise in heritage tourism in India is driven by a growing interest in history, culture, and architecture.
An increase in the number of heritage sites being developed and promoted as tourist destinations.
Growth in the development of heritage tourism infrastructure, such as museums, cultural centers, and guide services.
Hotel property management companies started venturing into heritage cities of India to capture the demand of heritage tourism
What To Expect In 2023:
Continued growth in heritage tourism in India as more people seek to learn about the country's rich cultural heritage.
A potential increase in investment in heritage tourism infrastructure, such as the restoration of historic buildings and the development of new heritage sites.
An emphasis on sustainable and responsible heritage tourism practices ensures that this form of tourism has a positive impact on local communities and the environment.
India is home to many important heritage tourism destinations, including Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Mumbai, which offer a range of historic buildings, monuments, and cultural attractions.
The future of tourism in India looks bright and holds immense potential for growth and development. With an increase in disposable incomes, a growing middle class, and an increasing interest in travel, India is poised to become one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. However, to fully realize this potential, the government and private sector must take active measures to improve infrastructure, provide better services, and promote the country as a tourist destination. With the right policies in place, India has the potential to become a hub for both domestic and international tourism, generating substantial economic growth and creating jobs for millions of people.
Written by Aafreen S.